Placing the right number of links in the right place is necessary for seamless user interaction. But there is a question most bloggers are bound to ask, ‘how many affiliate links are too many?’ While the answer is not in black and white, many say less is better. Some people have gone to the extremes of placing over 20 links within a 2000-word article and still managed to rank first for their intended keyword. On the contrary, some have also obtained abysmal results with such numbers. The more the backlinks on a page, the higher the dilution of its overall link value. As a precaution against the downside of several links on one page, most marketers use no-follow affiliate links.
Trying to figure out how many affiliate links to put into your content can be a rather tricky problem. In this article, I’m going to be discussing my personal experience in adding affiliate links to my content. Hopefully reading this blog post will help you decide how many affiliate links are appropriate to add to different types of content. I’ll be talking about blog posts, YouTube video descriptions, website pages, and other places you can add affiliate links.
Affiliate Link Discloser and Placement
Before I dive into the topic of how many affiliate links you should add to your content I want to direct you to two of my older posts. These will help you gain a better understanding of the rules around disclosing affiliate links as well as different ways to add affiliate links to your content. These posts are linked below. I do not suggest skipping this part of learning about affiliate marketing. Understanding how to disclose your affiliate links if very important if you want to say out of trouble.
These posts are short so go ahead and open them in another window and read them real quick.
How Many Affiliate Links Is Too Many?
The first thing I want to point out is that this is not a one size fits all problem. Different types of content or platforms have more flexibility with the number of affiliate links you should add. So I’m going to go through a couple of different types of content and talk about what has worked for me in the past as well as what hasn’t worked.
Do Not Spam Affiliate Links
The first rule of thumb here is don’t spam affiliate links. Adding tons of affiliate links to your content has many negative effects. If you’re targeting is right and you’ve got the correct reader on your content there is no reason to beat them over the head with the same affiliate link over and over and over again. If they want the information you’re sharing and the affiliate link is helpful just make sure you sell the one affiliate link you had the best you can. I really think adding more and more affiliate links to content takes away the power of each individual affiliate link.
Nobody likes content cram-packed with affiliate links. Platforms don’t like it, blog readers don’t like it, and search engines don’t like it. So really when you go overboard adding affiliate links you’re doing nothing but hurting your content. You’re hurting its readability, you’re hurting its chance to rank and you’re hurting the trust between you and your audience. You don’t want it to seem like the only thing you care about is getting money from your readers.
Comparing Affiliate Link Numbers To Ice Cream
Let’s take a second to compare your content to an ice cream shop. Let’s say you walk into an ice cream shop and they only have one type of ice cream. This ice cream shop really trying to sell this one type of ice cream giving you a bunch of helpful information about it. Some examples of this type of information could be – how the ice cream was made, recipes were their ice cream is an ingredient, the name of the employee who made the ice cream, etc. Now, basically, you have two choices either you buy the ice cream or you leave the shop and this makes your decision as a customer much easier.
Now let’s say they had two flavors. This where it becomes much more tricky. The ice cream store must now split its promoting power between the two flavors. Now you have three choices you can either pick ice cream number one, ice cream number two, or you can pick no ice cream at all. This is about as far as I suggest you go as far as adding affiliate links to your content, 1-2 links. The more links you add the less power each link has. This effect is multiplied every time you add another affiliate link. Not only does this affect the actions of your audience, but it also affects how platforms and search engines view your content. The more links you add the more your content looks like spam.
A lot of new content creators trying to be Baskin-Robbins. They try and include as many affiliate links as they can thinking the more affiliate links they add will increase the chances that someone will actually click on them and make a purchase. In my experience, it’s much easier to do a hard sell and call to action on a single affiliate link. Trying to get somebody to randomly click on 30 affiliate links in a single piece of content that really has no single direction is not a winning strategy.
Like, for example, if you walked into an ice cream store and they had five hundred different flavors of ice cream and they give you very little information about each flavor. They just kind of leave you in the wind to make a decision or get out. The number of options makes it difficult for you to make a decision. You won’t feel appreciated as a customer because you’re not getting any helpful information. Chances are you’ll probably just go somewhere where it’s easy to make a simple decision. People can become almost petrified when you give them too many choices.
Types of Content to Add Affiliate Links to
Now let’s talk about a few different types of content. Depending upon the type of content you are creating, you will encounter a differing level of acceptable number of affiliate links.
How Many Affiliate Links Should You add in Review Posts
The first one I want to talk about is a review post. If you’re making a video or writing a blog post to create any type of content that’s a review of a particular product or service I would say one or two affiliate links in the content is acceptable anything more than that is really just distracting and starts to look like spam.
How Many Affiliate Links Should You add in Comparison Posts
The next type of content I want to talk about is a comparison post. This is the type of post where you put two products or services up against each other to see which one you think is better. Blank verses blank, that kind of thing. For this kind of post, I think the most reasonable answer is two affiliate links at the end of the post, one for each type of product or service that you are talking about. People aren’t stupid. If they read a post that they are interested in either product or service they will go to the bottom of the page and click on your affiliate link. Like, it’s just that simple. But if you’re adding tons of affiliate links throughout the entire post you’re just going to turn your audience off. It’s going to come through that you are obviously more interested in making a sale than providing helpful information to your audience.
How Many Affiliate Links Should You add in YouTube Descriptions
The next location you can add affiliate Links I want to talk about is YouTube descriptions. The rule with your YouTube descriptions is a little different than other types of content. A lot of YouTubers add affiliate links for equipment that is used to create their YouTube videos in their video descriptions. You may use a lot of different pieces of equipment to create your videos. This is one of the few spaces I think it’s OK to include several affiliate links without looking too spammy.
Creating Content Without Affiliate Links
I would like to make a suggestion because not every piece of content you create needs to include affiliate links. My suggestion is that you actually create some content that includes no affiliate links at all. You can still drive people to other pieces of content that you already created which have affiliate links in them in this type of content. Now I know this may sound a little confusing so I’m gonna try and clarify the little bit. Basically what you’ll do is you’ll write a blog post with the intention of having no affiliate links. In that blog post, you will link to other related blog posts that do.
Calls to Action
Now that you have a better understanding of why fewer affiliate links are actually more powerful I want to talk about calls to action. I think it’s much more important to focus on your calls to action than on the number of affiliate links you include in your contacts. Even if you go the most minimal possible and only include one affiliate link in each piece of your content you should have a convincing call to action before that affiliate link. What is a call to action? In the simplest terms, you were giving your audience a reason to click on that affiliate link. Examples of calls to action are “check it out”, “check the current price of this product”, “learn more about this product or service”, “sign up now”, “order now”, “buy through the link below”, and many more. If you don’t give your readers or audience a good reason to click through your affiliate link chances are they probably won’t do it. This is why I think it’s much more important to focus on your call to action than on the actual number of affiliate links you include in your content.
Adding Affiliate Links to Website Pages
We have talked about adding affiliate links to different types of content so far. Now lets talk about adding affiliate links to a few different types of website pages.
Adding Affiliate Links to a Resource Page
First, I would like to talk about a specific type of website page that you can create to be kind of like a home for all your affiliate links. This page is called a resource page. On this page, you should include all the basic information and call to action for each affiliate offer that you promote. Creating a page like this allows you to link directly to it instead of linking to multiple affiliate offers within your content. A resource page is a good alternative to linking to existing content.
Adding Affiliate Links to a Landing Page
Another type of page you can create on your website is called a landing page. This type of page is very similar to a resource page but instead of linking to every affiliate offer that you promote it specifically focuses on a single product or service. Your landing page should include a lot of valuable information about the product or service as well as a strong call to action and an affiliate link for that product or service. Do not forget to always disclose your affiliate links.
Once you’ve created a landing page you can link to it in your content and technically it doesn’t count as an affiliate link. Having pages like landing pages and resource pages gives you a little more flexibility in what you’re able to link out to in your content. It’s much less Spammy to link to a page on your own website then it is to link to a bunch of different affiliate offers directly. Creating and linking to resource and landing pages will also increase the time visitors spend on your website as well as the number of pages they view. This is great for your website’s analytics and rankings.
A Deeper Dive into Affiliate Links in Content
The increasingly popular opportunity affiliate marketing offers bloggers and content creators is huge! Having another avenue of turning their content profitable assets. With premium-quality content and strategically placed links, there is no limit to what an affiliate marketer can earn. The affiliate products you promote should be consistent with your content. Not only will it help in maintaining or expanding your audience base, but it will also increase your chances of making money as your audience will be more predisposed to buying.
Generally, affiliate marketing needs you to strike a balance between the content authenticity and the number of links on the page. Google, for example, may down-rank your page if you link tons of affiliate offers as the site will appear as spam. Some users make their success by starting with one to two links per page then slightly increase the number as the page begins to rank higher if needed.
What Should You Consider When Placing Affiliate Links in Content?
For any content, the number of inbound and external links should be balanced, both for the sake of ranking and the user experience. Remember, you are a content creator first and an affiliate marketer second. Your readers’ satisfaction must be your primary focus and, therefore, do not set up too many links that will annoy the users, making them abandon the page. Moreover, tons of outbound links on a single page may be interpreted as thin content by the visitors. On the other hand, when the links are too few relative to the article size, users may be frustrated scrolling the page for the gateway to the referral site. For longer posts adding your affiliate link at the beginning and end of your post so it is easy to find.
Regarding the appropriate number of referral links, let’s look at these scenarios. A 1200-word article on the “Top 5 Best Guitar Capos” will require you to include a link for each product that will be a total of five per page. Relative to the word count, the links form a perfect match and are great resources for the readers. However, placing five affiliate links within a 1200-word article on a single product may appear redundant.
I think it is better if you can do an individual review of each of these capos for example, then link to those reviews in the top five post. This way the post will not be weighed down with affiliate links but instead will have even more helpful information for your audience. This will also help guide your audience to making the best decision for them. The individual reviews should contain 1 or 2 links for that specific capo.
You should also take into account your links’ landing page produced by the product or service. First, the links should be specific. For example, if you are reviewing guitars on Amazon, each link should lead to the exact product location and not the Amazon homepage as it will force the users to begin searching all over again. You should also let your audience know where the link will take them. If you are linking to a product on Amazon, say so and disclose that is is an affiliate link. Secondly, minimize the number of links if they all lead to the same page. It would be inapt to include 10 links with the same landing page in a 1000-word article on a single subject.
The bottom line is enhancing the user experience as much as possible. Good user interaction is vital in boosting your page ranking.
Creating Authentic, Helpful and Valuable Content
When you add value to your followers, it is a guarantee that your reader base will expand. And this will positively impact your bottom line, which is making some money online. Your content should be more educational or informative than promotional. When you sacrifice the quality of content you offer in a bid to include more affiliate links; you will be slowly shrinking the number of your followers. But what is the benefit of hundreds of links with zero click-through rate? As mentioned earlier, the products you promote should be relevant to your content.
Include a Clear Disclosure Statement
Your goal may be making money, but informing your audience that you will be benefitting from the affiliate links is essential. Besides being a legal requirement for promoting fairness in trade and protecting the consumer, it helps gain trust with your followers. In any dealing, transparency is a crucial factor in the success equation, and affiliate marketing is no exception. However, you need to be aware of the possible reactions, such as few users who may feel manipulated refusing to use your links even if they had the intention of buying.
When coining your disclosure statement, make it brief and precise to save readers’ time. You can place it on pages with the affiliate links in a section where it is visible. I like to also include an affiliate disclosure statement above any affiliate link I add. I want my audience to know what I am linking to and why.
Set Up a Method of Managing Your Affiliate Links
Since affiliate marketing is dynamic, sooner than you think, your site will be full of affiliate links. It is, therefore, smart if you put in place a system that will help you manage and track the performance of links from the start. Some networks provide tools that affiliates can use in link management and tracking. But in case your program lacks them, consider using a plugin or spreadsheet.
How many affiliate links are too many? There is no precise figure for the number of links one can include on a web page. However, you must abide by the rules of the game to obtain excellent results. The focus of your blog should not be on making money from affiliate programs but delivering valuable content to your readers. Adding affiliate links should, therefore, be as natural as possible for the best user experience and higher PR. As a general SEO practice, the links in a single page should not exceed a hundred, whether external or internal.
LOL! 100 links! JK!
Really 1 to 2 affiliate links per 500 words is the rule I go by. Remember less is more. Add only the links that are needed, adding “extra” affiliate links is a practice that you should avoid. Keep your focus on your audience’s overall experience while consuming your content.
Things to Remember When Adding Affiliate Links To Content
- Disclose every affiliate link you add.
- Tell your audience what you you are linking to.
- Tell your audience why you are linking to it.
- Tell your audience where the link will take them.
- Include a well thought out call to action.
- Place your affiliate links where your audience can easily find them.
- Focus on creating valuable content instead of affiliate promotions.
I hope this article was helpful! Have a great day and consider following my blog.
My Call To Action
I was not always such a clever affiliate marketer. I will be the first to admit when I started out I spammed links all over the internet. And what did I gain from all this effort? Not a dime! It took me years to get over myself and the idea that I can figure this affiliate marketing thing out on my own.
8 months ago as of writing this post I took a huge leap. I signed up for an online course that cost me hundreds of dollars. I spent 2 weeks debating with myself about this purchase. Looking back I wish I had not wasted those 2 weeks and just went for it.
So why did I wait?
It was not because I did not think the course was worth the money. I had been following a YouTube channel put out by the creators of this course and the information shared there was the most valuable I have found to this date. I knew if these two guys, who went from average Joes to millionaires, are sharing the tips, tricks, and truth others were not talking about that their course was worthwhile.
What I think really stopped me during those two weeks was self-doubt. Could I really invest hundreds of dollars to learn real working strategies to make a living for MYSELF online? I knew if I signed up for the course they would teach me everything I need to know to create a successful online income, step by step.
Deep inside my brain I knew if I signed up for this course if I was not successful the only reason would be because I did not follow through. I could no longer use the excuse that I did not know what I was doing or what I need to do.
I took me two weeks to own up to this. Now I say to you if you need help, if you want to know the right way to create on online income, if you are tired of trying to figure it out on your own, take a look at Project 24.
Project 24 now had 60 step guides for both blogging websites and YouTube channels. I think almost anyone could take this course then take action to create an income online. They tell you what to do, step by step, in an easy to understand way. It really comes down to doing the work.
Below I will link to my Project 24 affiliate link as well as posts I have written about Project 24. Sign up if you are fired up, read more if you are curious.
The link below is my affiliate link for Project 24. This link will take you to Project 24’s homepage where you can learn more about Project 24 and sign up if you like. I can earn commissions from this affiliate link if purchases are made using it.